Organic 101

Provided with approval from Organic Trade Association

What is organic?
Organic refers to the way agricultural products-food and fiber-are grown and processed.
Organic food production is based on a system of farming that maintains and replenishes soil fertility without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers.
Organic foods are nominally processed without artificial ingredients, preservatives, or irradiation to maintain the integrity of the food.

What does "Certified Organic" mean?
"Certified Organic" means the item has been grown according to strict uniform standards that are verified by USDA-accredited state or private certification organizations.
Certification includes inspections of farm fields and processing facilities, detailed record keeping, and periodic testing of soil and water to ensure that growers and handlers are meeting the standards which have been set.

Is there an official definition of "organic"?
The following excerpt is from the definition of "organic" that the National Organic Standards Board adopted in April 1995: "Organic agriculture is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony."

Do organic farmers ever use pesticides?
Prevention is the organic farmer’s primary strategy for disease, weed, and insect control. By building healthy soils, organic farmers find that healthy plants are better able to resist disease and insects. Organic producers often select species that are well adapted for the climate and therefore resist disease and pests. When pest populations get out of balance, growers will try various options like insect predators, mating disruption, traps, and barriers. If these fail, permission may be granted by the certifier to apply botanical or other nonpersistent pest controls under restricted conditions. Botanicals are derived from plants and are broken down quickly by oxygen and sunlight.

10 Toys With Most Lead

Examples of Toys Containing Lead


2 Hearts and HM graphic NecklaceDisney (F.A.F., Incorporated) 406,510

Halloween Pumpkin PinThe Christmas Tree Shop 190,943

Bracelets CollectionThe Christmas Tree Shop 81,085

Just My Style “It’s So Charming” Jewelry Charm Bracelets
Just My Style Jewelry 9,254

High School Musical crown necklaceDisney (F.A.F., Incorporated) 7,963

Leapster2 / Wall.ELeapFrog 4,251

Fairy & Flowers SandalsHuanCheng 4,113

Thistle BlocksEdushape 2,446

Turbo Wheels - Lime GreenGreenbrier International, Inc. 2,441

High School Musical “HSM” necklaceDisney (F.A.F., Incorporated) 2,337

Source: and Ecology Center

10 Easy Steps to Becoming Green

By Natural Kids ®

  1. Buy organic food when possible. Begin with milk and your child’s favorite vegetable and fruit. If your child is not a milk drinker, start with the most consumed beverage. Check out the list of fruits and veggies with the least amount of pesticides.

  2. Try to find local foods – shop at local markets where local farmers display their products. Reduce your carbon footprint and the distance food travels.

  3. Recycle at home and at work, it’s easy, it’s fun and your children can participate. You will love it too, because there will be less trash to take out. J If you don’t know how to get started, check with your local city’s recycling office. Google your city and recycling and you’re sure to come up with a plan to get started right away. Recycled containers can also become fun art projects for your children.

  4. No more Plastic. Choose paper instead of plastic (your next step will be reusable containers and bags)

  5. Stop car idling. Save gas and eliminate awful fumes!

  6. Turn off the lights and other heavy energy users when not in use.

  7. Switch to toxin-free, biodegradable household cleaning agents for kitchen and bath. Start with your hand-soaps, then move on to bathroom cleaners and laundry detergents. Our Favorites are Method. This step is sure to help the allergy sufferers in your home or office.

  8. Heating and cooling can add up to 45% of your utility bill. Set temp lower in winter and change furnace filters monthly.

  9. Conserve Water!!! Start by turning the water off while brushing your teeth. Once you’ve mastered that step, try cutting down your length of time for showers.

  10. Take it Easy! Don’t get overwhelmed with trying to become perfectly green! Every change counts and points you in the right direction. Start with Food and the Environment.